Be pound poor and become Penny rich

Energy management is and should be perceived as a long-term investment by organisations. Having said this, the need for all organisations to implement energy management strategies now cannot be overstated as these strategies will save their costs of running the business in future.

Many organisations may shy off from implementing energy efficiency measures in place opting to save the associated costs or to use the cash for other projects that may be perceived as high priority in the short run. This is most likely to occur when cost cutting is a priority. Long-term planning is however critical for energy efficiency programs. Taking steps to improve building management and energy efficiency will and does pay dividends in the near-term and may be a competitive tool in the long-term.

Be energy smart
All energy management projects begin with being energy smart which calls for the understanding of energy usage. Use of Smart Meters that give real time readings of energy usage, can dramatically help businesses understand the benefit which energy management brings to the organisation.

Smart meters also cut the amount of time businesses spend on administration by allowing them to pay accurate bills, based on accurate readings. Some suppliers also support businesses to identify areas of energy wastage/inefficiency and help setting targets for energy reduction that guide behavioural change with regard to energy in the organisation.

Use of technologies that record the energy usage at the water or electricity meters putting data into a system where the users can graph it has made it easy to compare energy consumption in various departments, sites or buildings. Appropriate measures can then be implemented to improve the efficiency.

Partnerships between businesses and energy suppliers
Since the long-term benefits of reduced energy consumption is beneficial to both suppliers and consumers; the responsibility of managing energy consumption is being taken by both. Businesses should work with the suppliers on cost reduction strategies through identifying areas where energy is being wasted and advising businesses on how to save energy. Of key importance when choosing an energy supplier therefore is their depth of understanding of a business’ energy management needs.

Capitalise on government incentives
Businesses should always explore varied financing mechanisms for their energy efficiency programs e.g. government schemes generating electricity and selling it to the grid.

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Convert visits to sales to repeat purchases

The moment you start seeing more than a thousand unique visitors in just one day, we won’t be surprised if you’d be grinning ear to ear the entire week. But when weeks turn into months, you’ll then remember why you started off on this venture in the first place … and it wasn’t about just owning an immensely popular website.

People, like you, who’ve chosen to invest in eCommerce were most likely thinking along the lines of great ROI, revenues, and profits. Now that you have thousands of visitors, how would you like to have, say for a start, 1% of them buying the products on your site?

You know more about your own product prices; you do the math. But what might really interest you is that a slight change in that 1% conversion rate can already spell a big difference in your profits. Now imagine bringing that 1% up to at least 10%. That’s possible, but not if you simply rely on guesswork.

We rely on tests applicable to complex multi-variable systems, just like today’s typical eCommerce websites, in determining which combination of copy text, landing page images, form layouts, and background colours generate higher conversion rates.

Here’s how we’ll convert your visitors into buyers:

  • We’ll conduct A/B or even multivariate tests on your eCommerce website, thus eliminating guesswork in determining how to increase those conversion rates.
  • We’ll perform on-site and off-site web analytics to gain a deeper understanding of web usage to aid in our optimisation operations.
  • Through our expertise in copywriting, graphics and web designing, UI designing, and website QA, we can enhance and fine tune your site to give each visitor a uniquely engaging browsing experience.
  • We can also integrate CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems so that you’ll have the technical advantage to turn one-time buyers into repeat customers.
A Definitive List of the Business Benefits of Cloud Computing

When you run a Google search for the “benefits of cloud computing”, you’ll come across a number of articles with a good list of those. However, most of them don’t go into the details, which nevertheless might still suit some readers. But if you’re looking for compelling business reasons to move your company’s IT to the cloud, a peripheral understanding of what this technology can do for you certainly won’t cut it.

Now, cloud computing is not just one of those “cool” technologies that come along every couple of years and which can only benefit a particular department.?What we’re talking about here really is a paradigm shift in computing that can transform not only entire IT infrastructures but also how we run our respective organisations.

I hate to think that some people are holding back on cloud adoption just because they haven’t fully grasped what they’re missing. That is why I decided to put together this list. I wanted to produce a list that would help top management gain a deeper understanding of the benefits of the cloud.

Cloud computing is one bandwagon you really can’t afford not to jump into. Here are ten good reasons why:

1.?Zero?CAPEX and low TCO for an enterprise-class IT infrastructure

2. Improves cash flow

3. Strengthens business continuity/disaster recovery capabilities

4. Lowers the cost of analytics

5. Drives business agility

6. Ushers in anytime, anywhere collaboration

7. Enhances information, product, and service delivery

8. Keeps entire organisation in-sync

9. ?Breathes life into innovation in IT

10. Cultivates optimal environments for development and testing

Zero CAPEX and low TCO for an enterprise-class IT infrastructure

Most cloud adopters with whom I’ve talked to cite this particular reason for gaining interest in the cloud.

Of course they had to dig deeper and consider all other factors before ultimately deciding to migrate. But the first time they heard cloud services could give them access to enterprise class IT infrastructures without requiring any upfront capital investment, they realised this was something worth exploring.

A good IT infrastructure can greatly improve both your cost-effectiveness and your capability to compete with larger companies. The more reliable, fast, highly-available, and powerful it is, the better.

But then building such an infrastructure would normally require a huge capital investment for networking equipment, servers, data storage, power supply, cooling, physical space, and others, which could run up to tens or even hundreds of thousands of euros. To acquire an asset this costly, you’d have to take in debt and be burdened by the ensuing amortisation.

If you’ve got volumes of cash stashed in your vault, cost might not be a problem. But then if you really have so much savings, wouldn’t it be more prudent to use it for other sales-generating projects? An extensive marketing endeavour perhaps?

A capital expenditure of this magnitude and nature, which normally has to be approved by shareholders, can be regarded as a high financial risk. What if business doesn’t do well and you wouldn’t need all that computing power? What if the benefits expected from the IT investment are not realised??You cannot easily convert your IT infrastructure into cash.

Remember we’re talking about a depreciating asset. So even assuming you can liquidate it, you still can’t hope to sell it at its buying price. These factors are going to play in the minds of your Board of Directors when they’re asked to decide on this CAPEX.

Incidentally, these issues don’t exist in a cloud-based solution.

A cloud solution typically follows a pay-as-you-go utility pricing model where you get billed monthly (sometimes quarterly) just like your electricity. ?In other words, it’s an expense you’ll need to pay for?at the end of a period over which the service’s value would have already been realised. Compare that with a traditional infrastructure wherein you’ll have to spend upfront but the corresponding value will still have to be delivered gradually in the succeeding months or years.

demand expense traditional infrastructure

From the point of view of your CFO, what could have been a CAPEX to acquire an asset that depreciates with time (and consequently reduces your company’s net worth), becomes a flexible operating expense (OPEX).?Truly, it is an operating expense that you can increase, decrease, or even totally discontinue, depending on what the prevailing business conditions demand.

demand expense cloud infrastructure

People who think they have done the math in comparing cloud-based and traditional IT infrastructures claim that, although they see how cloud solutions transform CAPEX into OPEX, they really don’t see any significant difference in overall costs.

However, these people have only gone as far as adding up the expected monthly expenses of a cloud solution over the estimated duration of an equivalent IT infrastructure’s effective lifespan and comparing the sum with that IT infrastructure’s price tag. You won’t get a clear comparison that way.

You need to consider all factors that contribute to the infrastructure’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Once you factor in the costs of electricity, floor space, storage, and IT administrators, the economical advantages of choosing a cloud solution will be more evident. Add to that the costs of downtime such as: interruptions to business operations, technical support fees, and the need to maintain expensive IT staff who spend most of their time “firefighting”, and you’ll realise just how big the savings of cloud adopters can be.

Still not convinced? Well, we’re still getting started.?On our next post, we’ll take a closer look at the additional benefits of paying under an OPEX model instead of a CAPEX model.

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Is Change Management a Myth or a Possibility

The theory that it is possible to manage organisational change (Change Management) in a particular direction has done the rounds for quite some time, but is it true about Change Management. Was Barrack Obama correct when he said, ?Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.?
Or, was business coach Kelly A Morgan more on the button when she commented, ?Changes are inevitable and not always controllable. What can be controlled is how you manage, react to, and work through the change process.? Let us consult the evidence and see what statisticians say.

What the Melcrum Report Tells Us

Melcrum are ?internal communication specialists who work alongside leaders and teams around the globe to build skills and best practice in internal communication.? They published a report after researching over 1,000 companies that attempted change management and advised:

? More than 50% report improved customer satisfaction

? 33% report higher productivity

? 28% report improvements in employee advocacy

? 27% improved status as a great place to work

? 27% report increased profitability

? 25% report improved absenteeism

Sounds great until we flip the mirror around and consider what the majority apparently said:

? 50% had no improvement in customer service

? 67% did not report increased productivity

? 72% did not note improvements in employee advocacy

? 73% had no improved status among job seekers

? 73% did not report increased profitability

? 75% did not report any reduction of employee absenteeism

This shows it is still a great idea to hear what all parties have to say before reaching a conclusion. You may be interested to know the Melcrum report gave rise to the legend that 70% of organisation change initiatives fail. This finding has repeated numerous times. Let’s hear what the psychologists have to say next.

There is a certain amount of truth in the old adage that says, ?You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.? Which of us has not said, ?Another flavour of the week ? better keep heads down until it passes? during a spell in the corporate world. You cannot change an organisation, but you can change an individual.

At the height of the Nazi occupation of 1942, French philosopher-writer Antoine de Saint-Exup?ry said, ?A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral?. Psychology Today suggests five false assumptions change management rests upon, THAT ARE SIMPLY NOT TRUE.

1. The external world is orderly, stable, predictable and can be managed

2. Change managers are objective, and do not import their personal bias

3. The world is static and orderly and can be changed in linear steps

4. There is a neutral starting point where we can gather all participants

5. Change is worthy in itself, because all change is an improvement

Leo Tolstoy wrote, ?Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.? A prophet can work no miracles unless the people believe. From the foregoing, it is evident that change management of an organisation is a 70% impossibility, but encouraging an individual to grow is another matter.

A McKinsey Report titled Change Leader, Change Thyself fingers unbelieving managers as the most effective stumbling stones to change management. To change as individuals ? and perhaps collectively change as organisations ? we need to ?come to our own full richness?, and as shepherds lead our flock to their ?promised land?, whatever that may be. Conversely, herding our flock with a pack of sheepdogs extinguishes that most precious thing of all, human inspiration.

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